What is user experience, and why does it matter?
User Experience (UX) design is all about building the right product for people and is critical for high customer satisfaction and employee productivity. UX design goes much deeper than making a product look presentable — it spans customer needs, psychology, environments, accessibility, and even compliance. UX improves the lives of individuals through design — whether they are patients, employees, or customers. You can use a Human-Centered Design (HCD) approach to deliver higher-quality products regardless of your industry. When organizations build the experiences customers want, those customers will flock to that product.
The UX design process
As with any IT initiative, a strategic approach ensures needs are met efficiently and effectively. Here’s a process that we at Insight use with clients across industries:
- Identifying the problem and creating alignment
- Before organizations can successfully take on a UX project, they need to determine the problem they want to solve through design. For example, a financial services organization may be looking to solve the problem of customers lacking easy access to their accounts, while a manufacturer may still be using paper-and-pencil inspections that aren’t trackable or accessible online.
- Creating empathy through research and testing
- Empathy in the UX sense is all about understanding the customer through user research, observation, and testing. User research explores the needs of the customer by determining what they value and the solution they want to be more effective. Sharing this feedback across stakeholders and product teams drives enhanced awareness and can better align the solution.
- Once organizations have a better understanding of user needs, they can construct a framework for how they will handle the problem they’re trying to solve. Through facilitated workshops, hackathons, or design sprints, the product ideas can come to life in prototypes or Proof of Concepts (PoCs) that can be tested for viability. For example, the previously mentioned financial services organization may determine that a mobile app is the best choice. Ideation is all about how the problem will be tackled to fit the users’ needs.
- Regardless of the technology, the same thoughtful approach should be taken to architect and design the final solution, using the principles of HCD and other UX best practices. Accessibility, responsiveness, and system integration considerations are key aspects for organizations to address. Then, the solution will be designed to meet the needs of the user while maintaining the look and feel of the brand.
- The UX process isn’t done yet, as the interface needs to be brought to life with quality and functionality while integrating into the big-picture product vision. Working alongside the development teams and/or iteratively through an Agile process, the final product is reviewed for its design, interaction, and accessibility. Once a design is developed and approved, it can be integrated into the bigger picture. In the case of a mobile app, front-end mobile developers would integrate the approved design with the rest of the application code for a cohesive solution.
Tapping into the benefits
There is immense business value to be gained by optimizing UX in organizations, whether the users are internal employees or their customers. First and foremost, a strong UX design process ensures there is less waste of time and money. Rather than continuing to rework poor solutions or unintuitive design, the UX process gets to the heart of what customers need and delivers on that promise. Additionally, intuitive design makes adoption easier, requiring less time and effort for users to learn. For employees, that can mean condensed training requirements. For customers, it can mean their experience with your product stands out from the crowd of more complicated-to-use alternatives, which can result in brand loyalty.
Modern UX is also more sustainable and accessible with established best practices. Experts in the field can include critical features necessary for meeting compliance and serving all customers equitably — which drives business value. With proper research and testing, UX projects result in faster speed to market because of the expedited learning process and no need to rework a mismatched solution. Whether the end user is internal or external, good design increases satisfaction and productivity.
A UX case study: High impact for a major insurer
One of the largest insurance providers in the U.S. was still managing claims on its legacy system from more than 20 years ago. This client needed to overhaul its design for efficiency and accuracy — but also lacked important accessibility features that had become commonplace in modern solutions. Our teams worked with the client to rebuild its claims management systems, resulting in millions of savings in agent time. With that time, agents were able to work more efficiently and serve customers faster than ever before.
Unlock additional business value with improved UX.
A strong UX is critical, but not all organizations have the expertise on hand to deliver what their users need. Regardless of your industry, our experts are focused on solving problems with fresh, intuitive designs that will delight end users. Connect with us.